M1915 Leib-Kuirassier Restoration

skelts1974

New member
Hi,

So this is my latest project. I had actually planned to hold off helmets for the next year as my wife and I are doing IVF. Unfortunately I still keep my finger on the pulse and regularly search a range of sites including online Auction sites. A few weeks ago I came across this helmet for sale on such a site in the UK.

First glance had me thinking it was a fake. However, the more I looked at the more I felt that I should take a risk. Unfortunately there were only three photos of the helmet and these did not reveal much of the detail I was chasing such as makers mark. There was also no detailed information on the auction listing. The photos did reveal some obvious issues with the helmet starting with the chin scales, the mounting posts, the JzP spike and the abysmal attempt at a liner. Despite these issues I took a gamble and ended up paying about $300 Aus plus postage.

The helmet arrived in America yesterday - at Cameron Laughlin's. His initial review of the helmet (including removal of the liner) has indicated the presence of a manufacture date of 1916 with a helmet size stamp of 52. Further details are covered with a thick spread of contact cement. But I expect to see some details of a makers mark.

The shell is in good condition with a layer of light rust. The grey paint had been mainly removed from the wappen, which actually appears original to the helmet. The mounting lugs for the chin scales have actually been painted gold - you can see it having been worn off in some photos. I know some will also take issue to the spike, but I have to wonder if this is not also original - a wartime ersatz replacement? I have done a search on the internet and it is surprising the number of M1915 Kuirassier helmets which have JzP spikes. This might be an interesting point of discussion.

So here is the plan. Strip the shell of rust and polish. Clean all parts and repaint the inside of the shell. Replacement chin strap (correct wartime ORs variant of course) as well as kokardes. I am not going to have the wappen or the spike and base repainted grey at this stage, but will have the mounting lugs stripped and repainted.

The plan is to add additional photos as we progress.

Hope you like. I welcome positive comments.

Regards

Steve
 

joerookery

New member
Where was this Steve? I agree with your decision to return it to its former glory. It will take a lot of work. My first impression was that it was stored on an oceangoing vehicle!
 

skelts1974

New member
Joe,

It came from Stacey's auction house in the UK. No provenience supplied. It actually looks worse than it is. The rust is only surface rust and should clean up well. The shell is apparently quite solid and made of the thicker steel one would expect of an ORs helmet.

I think the previous owner had some knowledge of kuirassier helmets. They have obviously added the chin scales (although not the correct cavalry type) and the liner looks like a very poor attempt to simulate an officer's quality / private purchase liner common to kuirassier and pickelhaubes.

It looks a mess now, but should clean up to an acceptable lesson and hey what a bargin!

Steve
 

b.loree

Administrator
Staff member
Great post Steve, I look forward to seeing the completed project. Hell, the wappen alone is worth $600.
 

Arran

Member
Sorry to say, but this helmet doesn't seem right to me at all. First off, the spike is a known fake, size of the rivets seems wrong, overall shape, etc. I hope I'm wrong, but there were only a few manufacturers of this pattern helmet and their products are all very standardized, looking little like this one. I would recommend having Cameron send some detailed pics to you before you pay for a restoration...
 

skelts1974

New member
Aaran,

You are wrong. There are makers marks inside this helmet - perhaps you should re-read my post? I thought as you do initially, but took a stab anyway. You may be right about the pins on the spike base. Otherwise I am sure that you are off the mark.

Steve
 

Arran

Member
Well, I hope you're right. Do you happen to know what the markings are? This doesn't look like a helmet made by Juncker, Lachmann, Heilbing u. Sackewitz or Gebr. Israel, and as I'm sure you know, markings do not an original make. The studs that I find are undersized are those on the skirt, although the spike retaining studs are very small too. Have you any pics of the reverse of the plate?
 

911car

Well-known member
Hi Steve,
Regarding the spike, Arran is right. This is not even a real JzP spike. You should try to find a correct and genuine Kurassier spike.
Bruno
 

skelts1974

New member
Aaron,

I have not seen the markings yet, but I wouldn't be so quick to doubt! They are currently covered by contact cement as I have previously stated (have you read my previous comments?). Cameron has commented to me on the general manufacture and the helmet is made from a heavy gauge metal like my other OR helmets which he has also restored. The manufacture and quality is better than any copy out there - Cameron has seen a number of the copies made in the 30s, as well as the English and indian fakes, and this helmet is not one of any of those.

I do not have any photos of the reverse of the plate, but I am told it is not a galvano copy.
 

Spiker

Active member
Steve,
The “cement” should not be there in the first place ,it may be a way of hiding the truth.
If this Cameron tells you it might be fake ,he will lose an order, right ?
Be your own judge of your helmet.
 

b.loree

Administrator
Staff member
Well the discussion is on hold at the moment, we will just have to let Cameron do his restoration and see what markings there are and how things turn out.
 

skelts1974

New member
No news on this one. I had to sell it to fund some medical issues that my wife and I have been facing, hence my long absence from this site.
 

joerookery

New member
You could add our prayers. I hope all the medical things are working out okay. I was so looking forward to how they were going to do the chin scales regardless of how the discussion turned out.
 

skelts1974

New member
Cheers guys. The medical issues are ongoing.

The good news is that I kept the wappen. It is sitting in the states and is still with Cameron Laughlin. Whether it is used on another project or kept as a desk ornament is still to be determined.

I am working on another project, but at a slower rate than my previous projects - the restoration of an enlisted GdC with a spike. I have the shell with unit and A. klucke markings.

I am desperately chasing parts and would kill for a couple of good kokardes. I have identified a spike and Wappen - which will come in time. Cameron is building chin scales using parts from original cavalry / dragoon chin scales.
 

Michaelvog

New member
Really looks great I appreciate you restoration work, especially your leaving the original finish, and the ageing, on the parts. Will this be matched up with the other 2 boxes eventually?
 
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